Premier League crisis talks with Sky and BT Sport in bid to avoid £750m TV bill

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Premier League clubs will push for crisis talks with Sky and BT Sport in the hope of avoiding a £750m bill.

They are still very much hoping to conclude the season and play their remaining fixtures to avoid having to pay back a huge chunk in broadcasting rights.

But talks among the clubs have already taken place about trying to reach agreement with the TV companies to try and work out a compromise if they have to curtail the season.

That would be the worst case scenario discussed at Friday’s Premier League meeting as it is understood that voiding the season completely is firmly off the table but the TV cash is the biggest worry of all.

But if they feel that games cannot be resumed for months to come because of the coronavirus then they may have to look at formulas to finish the season on a points per game with relegation places and European slots still to be decided.

With Liverpool so far ahead at the top, they are certain to be crowned champions in such a scenario but other outcomes would have to be decided.

However, the biggest fear about curtailing the season would be the outstanding TV cash which would have to be paid back if the games are not played.

BT Sport and Sky are understood to be fairly flexible but it is the foreign broadcasters who may prove harder to convince.

The £750m includes the foreign rights, clubs would have to pay back differing amounts depending on how many live games they had played.

The domestic rights make up just over half the TV revenue and Sky have the lion’s share so they might have to reach a compromise on around £300m.

But there is pressure on clubs and players to return to action even behind closed doors because they cannot afford to pay back all the TV cash.

Meanwhile, if the league does not start again until the autumn the fear is that viewers would not be interested in just nine games with the title already decided.

Starting afresh would be a better option if it was viable and if Sky and BT Sport played ball with a big new season launch.

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